The network of responsible and sustainable tourism extends throughout Barcelona

At the beginning of the year, Aethnic kicked off the second phase of the Barcelona XTRS project, a strategic alliance that aims to transform the current tourism model into a responsible and sustainable one based on the active participation of local agents of the city

After validating the pilot test that took place in the Poblenou neighborhood throughout 2021, Aethnic is now setting itself a new goal: deploy the Network throughout the territory to decentralize tourism from conventional points of interest and make significant and transformative tourist experiences available to visitors.

The XTRS initiative in Barcelona is based on an extensive analysis that Aethnic has developed over the last few years and that has included both the study of supply and demand and the public’s perception of tourist activity. The diagnosis of this process has been strong: Barcelona is a tourist destination that concentrates visitors in very specific areas and prevents travelers from discovering and enjoying a large number of interesting activities that take place in the city’s neighborhoods. However, the analysis reveals that there are fewer and fewer districts that consider tourism as a wealth-generating sector, and instead, more and more are advocating to limit this activity.

Territorial scope of the project

Last year, Aethnic identified more than fifty potential entities in the Poblenou neighborhood and co-created around thirty tourist experiences with the social, cultural and commercial fabric of the area.

Now, the Aethnic team focuses on the districts of Horta-Guinardó , Les Corts , Nou Barris and Sants-Montjuïc , with the aim of identifying existing activities that, despite their potential, do not have sufficient accessibility and visibility for the general public.

The first steps

Since it began in 2022, Aethnic has been working on the identification and mapping of associations, cultural entities, small artisan businesses, and ESS organizations that develop interesting activities to generate responsible tourist experiences. At the moment, nearly 20 potential activities have already been identified and rounds of presentation and contact with the relevant people in each district have been carried out.

However, a virtual meeting has been held with Horta Guinardó’s tourism techniques to start working on the co-creation of new experiences.

The expected results

In general, the Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Network envisages the articulation of a new local collaborative network that, on the one hand, will generate a space of good governance around tourism, and on the other, will make available to the destination offers an alternative socio-cultural tourism to the current one.

In this way, the project will validate an innovative and alternative tourism proposal based on the Social and Solidarity Economy and will contribute to moving towards a responsible and sustainable tourism model capable of reducing the impacts associated with conventional tourism activity.

Finally, all the experiences co-created with the local agents of the districts will become part of the Aethnic catalog and will be marketed through its own online marketplace that is already in the development phase.

Download the project presentation at this link .

The process of creating the Network has the support of Barcelona City Council through the Impulsem el Que fas programs, financed by the tourist tax.